Bubble Painting

“There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them.”

Tom Krause, Author and Motivational Speaker

What follows is my pitch for attempting the unknown for the sake of having a new experience, and maybe the end result will match your expectations. Or not. Either way, you’ve tried something new.

Aren’t these pretty? These are the result of a moderately failed experiment in bubble painting. The failure isn’t evident, is it?

I started with a mixture of tempera paint (red with a little silver), dish soap, and a little bit of water to make it runny.

Whole Foods dish soap is apparently great for dishes, but truly terrible for making good suds. If you’re up for this project, Dawn or Joy are most likely the way to go for a bowl full of bubbles. Mine fell flat. I’ll try this again for sure, and will be sure to share the winning recipe. That was the first failure, but here comes one that’s even bigger.

Can you guess what happened here? We poured the mixture into a little bowl, and then after a little demonstration, I instructed my daughter to blow. Out.ย Don’t suck it in. It’s not a drink. Don’t forget to blow OUT.

“Oh no, is that red paint all over your FACE?” I’m the worst mom ever! Wash it out. Check the bottle. Phew, it’s non-toxic. Ack!

She did great for the first five minutes of blowing, but then just forgot what she was doing. Totally understandable. She’s only two, after all. And sometimes I forget that.

MaryAnn Kohl has a good suggestion in Preschool Art, which I wish I had read beforehand: Pierce a hole near the top of the straw to keep your child from sucking paint into their mouth.

After that short, freaky interlude, we resumed Project Bubble Paint. From this point forward, I was responsible for blowing bubbles.

And they make for delightful gift tags, don’t you think?

Do you have a good bubble paint recipe?


  1. says

    Ha, yes the dish soaps sold at Whole Foods do not make good bubbles! I have a little container of Dawn (maybe?) that I keep in the craft room for any project that requires dish soap–we made our own snow globe last year, for instance. Whenever I’ve made bubbles for blowing (the regular kind, no paint) myself, the recipes always call for a little bit of glycerin, too. You can find that in the baking aisle at the craft stores that include that sort of thing–that’s where I always see it. I think I have Wilton’s glycerin around here somewhere…

    • rachelle says

      Thanks for sharing these tips. I’ve heard about glycerin and bubble blowing, but haven’t tried it yet. And I’ve long wondered where in the world one would buy it — now I know! Cheers!

  2. says

    I love this post. the opening quote. the experience project. the beautiful gift tag.
    I used your salt glitter idea today and it was a huge hit. your ideas live in my head and pop out right when I need them. I look forward to bubble painting. wait! how do you do it? I have to read the post again.

    • rachelle says

      I’m so happy to hear that the salt glitter worked. Send me pictures, please ๐Ÿ™‚ I retired ours from the art table today because I got tired of sweeping salt up on a daily basis, but it’s good to keep handy for when the need to shake some glitter arises. And I just posted the recipe for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. says

    This is so interesting. I had the idea last month that I haven’t done yet, to blow the colored bubbles (using food coloring) onto paper using a regular bubble wand. Maybe I’ll try that sometime and post about it ๐Ÿ™‚